Firstly in Blackpool this is something that we haven't done at our Children's Services O&S Committee and I suspect it may be an area of work, as you have referred to which may cause conflicting views.
I see a few issues particularly with studying particular cases:
- firstly is the committees role not to monitor the service provided by the authority overall via reports from the cabinet member / appropriate officers and via external reports to ensure its appropriate for the needs of the children? (studying case studies of particular children would appear to be more for the committees benefit / interes rather than for the children who are accessing the service than?)
- diluting them as you say removes effectiveness
- discussing particular cases in the public domain seems in my opinion unecessary? (these children are often very high needs cases, in very specific circumstances and could be known within their local areas / by local people - even anonymising cases may not guarantee anonymity for the child)
- there would be option to move into private session but that may create unnecessary interest from the press and public
If the Committee has cause for concern about the service, then a specific focused review, outside the public committee may be the most senstive, appropriate option?
Just a few thoughts. Happy to be convinced of the validity of this work but I would always recommend a committee airs on the side of caution when considering any areas where safeguarding is involved and requests information sensitively and appropriately within their remit.